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Shelling Out for Change



Reuters - Debate rages in Westminster this morning as the latest in a round of government schemes to combat homelessness went to a vote in the House of Commons. Project Shell, a Labour initiative to place deserving slugs into government-subsidised housing, has been the subject of much debate both in the UK and in the rest of the European Union. The Obama administration already has a similar program in action in the US, and they say the results are promising.

"We live in a nation today that is so wealthy, so powerful, and yet, so many of our gastropod friends live on the street," President Obama said in a speech on Sunday. "They are vulnerable, they are poor, and it is time we stood up and said no, we will not leave you at the mercy of birds and snakes. We will not scream like little girls and reach for the nearest shoe. We will speak up for you. We will reach out a helping hand to your outstretched feeler and help you up from the depths of your plight."

The UK government has been under increasing pressure to take action over the growing slug population, which in recent years has begun to spiral out of control. A recent rash of crimes against slugs has generated outrage in the mollusk community and led to the formation of several special interest groups, as well as star-studded benefit concert SlugAid.

"The word 'slug' is offensive," said Birmingham resident Andy Slow. "The preferred term nowadays is 'unhoused gastropod.' It's ignorant terms like 'slug' and 'creepy-crawler' that make it a struggle just to get by."

The British National Party, as usual, had something to say about what they refer to as "the mollusk menace." Party leader Nick Griffin, when asked to comment, said, "The National Scientific Institute for Totally Legitimate and Not Remotely Racist Studies has determined that snails and slugs aren't even native to Britain, originally. They have science and stuff to prove it. The BNP supports a government-sponsored voluntary deportation program to send them back to their country of origin and take the burden of their homelessness off our backs... er, so to speak."

In response, Project Shell chairman Gary Pulmonata was quoted as saying, "What a load of bollocks."

Analysts expect the outcome to be close. Public opinion in recent years has been divided; although attitudes towards slugs and snails are changing, a BBC poll in 2004 found that only 42% of respondents were in favour of programs to combat slug homelessness, while the other 58% simply recommended heavy doses of salt.

Did you hear the one about...



Back for a new term in a new year and I can't think of a better way to start it than by offending a few people. 

The Brighton Salon, which I've posted about before on my blog, is celebrating its 3rd year.  Its been a great few years and the next session proves to be entertaining as well as challenging.  It also stars one of our very own - Simon Fanshawe ex-sussex student and later Chair of Council as well as writer, broadcaster and comedian.  Simon will be joined by Tim Black, senior writer for Spiked on-line to discuss whether its possible to still be satirical today, chaired by the Salon's own Sean Bell.

Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Time: 7:30pm - 9:00pm

Location: The Open House

It seems that the closest we come to political satire is to go through the motions of monotonously and superficially asserting the tired cultural norm of cynicism towards authority.

The demand for a new satire continues to go unsatisfied. Has its chance of resurrection been irreparably damaged by new laws governing offence and the more insidious cultural unwillingness to upset anyone?

Is the upsurge of participation in stand-up comedy a new opportunity for satire to emerge? Finally, when the content of comedy seems all 'observational' and sketch based, we should ask 'What happened to the joke?"

Readings have been posted on the Brighton Salon Facebook Group.

The Brighton Salon meetings have been increasing in popularity, we now reach capacity quickly and can only guarantee a place if you book with us in advance. to do this please go to

Look forward to seeing you there.